Ikonne leads Abia PDP aspirants on merit, supporters say

Prof Ikonne leads Abia PDP aspirants on merit and is not anointed as Gov Ikpeazu’s successor, his supporters say,

Multiple sources say Peoples Democratic Party in Abia State has not anointed Professor Eleazar Uchenna Ikonne as a possible successor of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu.

Party officials contacted say the immediate past Vice-Chancellor of the Abia State University, is running on his own steam for now.

“What is true is that stakeholders in his zone are making a case for Ikonne, as their most suitable aspirant. The party has not reached any decision,” an official said..

The sources confirmed, “Professor Ikonne is one of the aspirants that stakeholders in their zone are proposing.

“These processes are in line with the consultations that the party leadership has held, resulting in the zoning of the position to three local government areas of Abia Central, and Abia North.

Ikonne is from Abia Central.

Another top party official sounded optimistic about the aspirant.

“He is qualified. Party members in his zone say so. His emergence to the forefront of the race aligns with the processes of the consultations we have been holding. Other aspirants are likely to indicate their interests soon.”

An influential member of the party added: “One person or two cannot reach a decision of this magnitude. The various levels of the party will make the decision as was agreed during the consultations”

Following the statement of party Chairman Dr. Alswell Asiforo on Sunday night, “Abia North is also to produce aspirants from its zone for the primaries.”

About Prof Ikonne

Professor Ikonne, an optometrist, is from Agburuike-Nsulu in Isiala Ngwa North, one of the three Ngwa local government areas in Abia Central, also known as Umunneato.

The other two local government areas are Isiala Ngwa South and Osisioma.

Ikonne attended Ngwa High School, Aba and studied Optometry at Manila Central University, Philippines.

He has a specialist Master’s degree in Hospital Administration from St. Jude College in the Philippines.

Ikonne served as Consulting Optometrist at the Park Lane General Hospital, Enugu.

He earned a PhD in Environmental Health Science from Abia State University, where he became the seventh substantive Vice-Chancellor in December 2015. He had served as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics) of the University from 2010-2014.

Ikonne leads Abia PDP aspirants on merit

An unending cycle of doom

Ogbuagu Anikwe

Reflecting on our nation’s unending cycle of doom reminds me of an incident that happened around 2.00 a.m. on 14 November 2021. I woke up when I heard noises from outside my hotel room door at a Southeast state capital. A gruff voice was complaining that the key to my room was not working. Shortly after, the hotel receptionist joined gruff voice to try the key. I imagined hearing two other voices beside gruff voice.

unending cycle of doom

As you would expect, my heart began pounding. The incident at Ile Ife a few months before flashed through my mind. You remember the story of a postgraduate student found dead and buried in a shallow grave a few days after checking in at a hotel in the ancient city? The hotel initially pretended that they did not know him as a guest. Unfortunately, the victim had taken steps to wire his check-in documentation to his wife. Presented with incontrovertible evidence, the Nigerian system sprang to the rescue. An attempt is on to exonerate the hotel owner from complicity in what looks like ritual murder.

When therefore I woke up to noises outside my door, fear naturally kicked in. What to do? I looked for possible escape routes in the room but decided against all. Instead, I braved it by quickly turning the keys on and violently jerking open my door. Three men and a lady, the receptionist, starred at me.

The suddenness of my bold move momentarily shocked and paralyzed them. In that split second of confrontation I noted that they had no weapons. No guns, no knives, and no clubs that I could see. My fear waned a bit.

“Yes?” I inquired as calmly as I could, looking disdainfully at each person in turn. I half expected the men to rush me any moment, but they held back. They just stood there in shock at my audacity and seeming bravery.

It was the receptionist that found her voice first.

“Sir, you got that toothpaste you asked for?” she asked.

“What has that got to do with you trying to force open my door in the middle of the night?” I shouted. I did it in hopes that it was loud enough to wake up other guests.

“What are you people looking for in my room at this time of the night?” I shouted again.

The three men quickly withdrew from the scene, leaving me alone with the receptionist.

“Please I’m sorry sir. I didn’t remember someone is in the room”, she said.

I went to great lengths to prove to her that she was telling lies. Then I asked again why she brought strangers to my room in the middle of the night. She continued to stammer incoherent excuses until I stopped her with a wave of the hand.

“You guys are lucky.” I injected a quiet menace to the words. And then, I waved her away.

She was shivering as she left.

Sleep subsequently fled from my eyes. Three hours later, on my way out, she disappeared from the frontdesk. Two other guests waited to check out and grumbled loudly. She refused to budge from wherever she was hiding. I simply dropped their key on the reception table and walked away.

The night before, I got into the city late and decided to book my trip for Abuja the following day before finding a hotel for the night. My favorite transport company had their buses and taxis fully booked. One of the tellers suggested that they could use me to replace habitually late passengers if I came in early. The company warns passengers to arrive early or risk missing the bus.

I became aware of how the midnight plot was conceived when I returned to the station that morning. I carelessly discussed with bus drivers about my plans, including needing a decent hotel nearby to sleep. When they asked me which hotel, I told them I had no preference other than decent. So, they decided to assist me. Two drivers initially took me in their bus to a place that was supposed to be a hotel. The place looked dark and desolate. Then they turned back and deposited me in a hotel on a street behind their bus station, the same place where the midnight visitors came calling in the wee hours.

How did I know? I read the shock on the drivers’ faces when I showed up at their station that morning. It took them almost a minute to recover from the shock of seeing me. Then they quickly composed themselves and came to greet and ask me how the night was. So, they never expected to see me alive this morning, I wondered. Fear returned, fear of what could have happened in the wee hours from noisemakers outside my hotel room door.

All through the journey back to Abuja, my mind went through all the foolish steps I took on the journey.

The biggest mistake was not booking a hotel room online when I decided to sleep over. They welcomed me as a total stranger rather than a guest with international credentials. No one would have come knocking on my door, if I had “insured” my arrival through any of the international hotel booking sites.

I was also careless with the check-in process. The receptionist insisted on cash payment. After paying, she promised to bring the receipts to my room after checking in another guest standing behind me. She never did. In that moment, I forgot my original plan to immediately snap the hotel receipt before her and make a show of sending it to my wife. I also forgot to call my wife before the receptionist to tell her the room number assigned to me.

The third mistake I made was to carelessly discuss with bus drivers about my situation for that night. My carelessness was most unforgiveable. I had in my hands a phone that could have shown me all hotels nearby. There were also  private taxis and commercial tricycles aka keke that could have taken me to any hotel I named from the list. Instead, I allowed bus drivers take me on a journey that could have ended in grief for my family.

My singular luck was that the hotel door had an old-fashioned key lock. So, after locking myself in, I twisted the key sideways to ensure that no outside key could fit in to open the door. This was what sowed frustration as they tried to open the door. And led to the noises that woke me up, otherwise I could have woken up after they burst through.

One thing puzzled me though. Up until this moment, I have not figured out why my opening the door prevented them from carrying out whatever were their plans. Could it be that they saw I was ready to provoke an altercation that rouses other sleeping guests? The way our country is, majority of those guests would have crouched in their rooms, listening to the din with hearts pounding. Only a few would brave it to investigate or help.

Let’s just say that it was grace that saved me that night.

An unending cycle of doom

I recalled this incident last week following news of reported attempts by terrorists to waylay a plane about to taxi off at the Kaduna Airport. My mind also went back to it two days ago following successful bombing and interception of a Kaduna-bound train by terrorists. Some passengers died and others were abducted. With these two incidents, Nigeria has now completed an unending cycle of doom. Before now, roads were the most dangerous means of travel, thanks to highway bandits and kidnappers. Each day, they invent creative tactics to intercept and abduct innocent travelers for ransom. Those that survive the highway siege still worry about their safety in hotels. The dangers are no less severe on city streets.

The tragedy of our state of insecurity is that our compatriots continue to live a lie. In the southeast, everyone knows that it is a risk to do business on Mondays. Those who venture outside were either killed or maimed. The miscreants routinely destroy property. Is the rest of the country safer? Everyday has become a challenge to common people who work hard to make ends meet. Everyone is tired of blaming government over the halo of insecurity hanging over the nation.

Why is this a tragedy? The people who run the governments – and who are directly responsible for the mess we are in – have found the formula to keep things the way they are. They are currently seducing us  to make a seamless transition to a worse state of affairs. After massively failing to secure us, and mindlessly looting the treasury, and messing up the economy, they are set to “anoint” successors to continue the aggravation. At states and federal levels, they play on our emotions, evoking divisive rhetoric. Zoning, power rotation, religious and ethnic fidelity take the place of party platforms and candidate blueprint to take us out of the woods. They come from a familiar playbook that lulls citizens from asking hard questions.

What plans do political aspirants – and future candidates – have to rescue Nigeria from the insecurity and economic swamp in which we find ourselves?

There are no answers. Soon enough, we shall see anointed candidates and their godfathers graduate to flashing Naira, dollars, food and clothes to distract poor people from recognizing them for who they truly are. They are the ogres, not the highway bandits and kidnappers. Their actions and inactions directly create the situation that drive desperate people to the highways to rob and steal. With our intellectuals and the mass media reporting Elections 2023 like a horse race, I see no hope. We shall continue in our induced sleep until 29 May 2023 when another set of the thieving elite class takes office nationwide.  And then, Nigeria will enter a new phase in her unending cycle of doom, with misery and hardship foretold.

Ogbuagu Anikwe – An unending cycle of doom

Enugu loses former Speaker, Chief Cletus Enebe

Enugu loses a former speaker, Chief Cletus Enebe, aged 59, on Tuesday, 29 March 2022 at a hospital in the Coal City.

Political debates momentarily halted on Tuesday when news filtered out that Enugu lost a former House of Assembly Speaker, Chief Cletus Enebe

Enebe, an administrator and lawyer, passed on Tuesday, 29 March 2022 at the Neo Hospital and Dialysis Centre in Enugu.

His younger brother Christian, an engineer and a lecturer, confirmed the death to Enugu Metro.

News of his death came as a surprise to family and friends. Everyone believed that Chief Enebe recovered from kidney complications for which he received a transplant in India four years ago.

Family and other medical sources however informed Enugu Metro that he did not directly die from kidney-related complications.

Instead, four different consultants battled to restore him to health from a massive stroke.

He subsequently recovered and was about to be discharged when he suffered a relapse from which he failed to recover.

His family deposited his remains at the Eastern Nigerian Medical Centre morgue, in preparation for burial.

Pioneer Speaker of Fourth Republic

Chief Enebe became speaker of Enugu State House of Assembly at the dawn of this Republic in 1999.

He later lost the position under the tempestous politics of the Chimaroke Nnamani Administration. A resilient politician, Enebe nevertheless outlasted the administration to serve three terms of 12 years as representative of Awgu North.

The former Speaker who died Tuesday aged 59, was from Ihe, in Awgu LGA of Enugu.

He left behind a wife and three children, two boys and a girl.

‘A devastating loss’

Engr. Chris Enebe, his younger brother, was with him in hospital all through the period leading to his eventual passage.

Chief Enebe’s death came as “a devastating blow to both his family and the siblings,” he said.

“My brother sowed peace and love throughout his life.

“He showed us love and was the ultimate father figure to us his siblings. I’ll describe my brother as intuitive and very wise, being close to him as I was.

“He bore no grudges or ill will towards people and I’m yet to meet anyone who described him as an enemy.”

The family has not announced burial arrangements yet.


Do you have kind words or memories of Speaker Enebe? Scroll below to leave a comment.

Enugu loses former Speaker, Chief Cletus Enebe

Enugu PDP in desperate hunt for delegate votes

The Punch newspaper reports desperate efforts by Enugu PDP and the state government to secure delegate votes in coming governorship primaries.

Source: The Punch

Barring any last minute change, five officers of the Enugu State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party at the ward level, who form the statutory ward delegates, will soon smile to the bank, following the approval for their salary increase to N100,000 each with immediate effect.

The affected ward executives are the Chairman, Deputy Chairman, Secretary, Women Leader, and Youth Leader.

This is coming less than a year after the salaries of the entire ward executives were raised in May 2021, even as pensions and gratuities of retirees continued to pile up.

The PUNCH gathered, on Wednesday, that this may not be unconnected with the PDP primaries ahead of the 2023 general election, particularly the jostle for the state governorship seat.

It is recalled that the monthly salaries of party executives at the ward and local government levels were increased in May 2021 and it coincided with the initial rumours that the Electoral Act might make direct primary mandatory and only avenue for electing candidates. Ward party executives would have become very powerful had the direct primary eventually scaled through.

According to our sources, the salary of each ward Chairman was increased from N10,000 to N50,000 in May 2021. This represented a whooping 400 per cent increase despite that the primary school teachers and local government staff were yet to be paid the N30,000 minimum wage.

Deputy Chairman, Secretary, Youth Leader, and Women Leader, who were being paid N10,000 had their salaries increased to N30,000, representing about 200 per cent increment.

The rest of the ward executives, who received N6,000 initially also had their salaries increased to N20,000.

In the same vein, all local government executives of the party had their salaries raised from N10,000 to N50,000.

However, the increase only took effect in a few local governments in June, while full implementation across the 17 local governments started in August 2021.

The new expected increase, it was learnt, may not be unconnected with the provisions of Section 84 of the Electoral Act 2022, which bars political appointees of the president and governors from participating as delegates in primary elections.

This is considered a great blow as it reduces the number of assured votes for first term governors seeking a second term as well as second term governors, who want to install their preferred successors.

The request by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to have the Section amended has already been rejected by the Senate, as it could not progress to a second reading.

With government appointees ruled out, the move by Enugu State Government is seen in several quarters as a desperate move by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to secure the loyalty of statutory delegates at the ward level, as many forces could bring to bear in the election of non-statutory delegates.

Meanwhile, our source, who does not want his name in print, wondered why the Enugu State Government could approve of the misuse of government funds in that manner when the government was yet to meet its basic obligations.

“Clearly, this is all about 2023, especially about inducing the statutory delegates and have them in firm grip. The percentage of increase after nearly six years in power clearly shows that it is not for nothing.

Otherwise, why only the five statutory delegates once the direct primary was made non-compulsory?
“So, who will pay the ward executives of other political parties in Enugu State?

“Besides, it breaks the heart to think that this is a state that is owing a stockpile of pensions and gratuities, a state that has refused to pay primary school teachers the minimum wage, a state that has failed woefully in common waste disposal, a state where virtually all Enugu township roads are in disrepair, while the Enugu city that used to be well-lit under Sullivan Chime’s administration is now in total darkness at night”, he lamented.

Efforts to get the reaction of the state government were unsuccessful as the Special Adviser to Governor Ugwuanyi on Information, who also oversees the Ministry of Information, Mr Steve Oruruo, didn’t pick his calls as the phone rang out.

Link: https://punchng.com/enugu-pdp-excos-get-salary-raise-despite-unpaid-pensions-gratuities/

How did we get here?

In How did we get here, Columnist Benjamin Achi bemoans the state of our nation today, on the sidelines of the comic reliefs from VIP slaps heard around the world.

How did we get here?
Benjamin Achi

Padre Benjamin Achi, a social commentator, is of the Directorate of Communications at the Enugu Catholic Diocese

Take a cursory look and you’ll confirm this unpleasant reality. It is no longer just about the multiplication of criminal elements with murderous intents, taking lives and spilling blood at will, but the fact that many a Nigerian seem to have gotten so used to the killing field that our country has become, that there is now total lack of empathy and a colossal loss of humanity in very many Nigerians.

Someone (a popular singer at that) is down with two terminal illnesses at the same time and cries out, and all he gets are taunts and doubts and claims that he was faking the sickness to get money. That is even when there are pictorial evidences of this person battling for his dear life in a medical facility.

Now, a young promising medical doctor gets shot in a terrorist attack in a train and sends out a tweet requesting for prayers (prayers only not money this time) and what did she get in return? How did we get here folks?

Mark Antony’s line of lamentation in William Shakespeare’s all time classic, Julius Caesar, (Act 3, Scene 2.) is exactly what comes to my mind at this point:

“O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts, And men have lost their reason”.

How did we get here Nigerians?

How many more slaps?

How many more slaps are we going to see?

We have seen two already in recent days! One in Nigeria, the other in the United States.

There may have been others elsewhere that didn’t make the headlines.

What does this say? All is not well in the human world as it stands today. As simple as that. While I’ll never advocate for violence of any sort, people need to know where to draw the line in their dealings with others. There are so many things giving people emotional stress in our world these days. So the best we can all do is to at least say some nice words to other people.

It may not be very easy for someone emotionally, psychologically or otherwise stressed, to maintain that equanimity of a gentleman or lady you would expect when they receive uncomplimentary remarks. Things are not normal in today’s world and its inhabitants are bearing the brunt. There is anger in many hearts.

Just take a look around our country Nigeria for instance. Who has not noticed that an average person on the Nigerian Street these days is aggressive? They are not so much to blame. It’s the situation. Just so that you know.

Soludo nominates 20 as Commissioners in Anambra

List of Anmbra Commissioners. Governor Chukwuma Soludo nominates 20 as Commissioners for his new cabinet, Speaker Uchenna Okafor announced today.

Additionally, the Governor also requested the House of Assembly to approve 15 advisers to help him run the government.

Interestingly, the list includes five political appointees from the administration of his predecessor, Chief Willie Obiano.

The lucky five include Paul Nwosu (former special adviser), and Ifeatu Onejeme (former Commissioner). Others include Collins Nwabunwanne, and Chief Chikodi Anara.

The designated portfolios of each nominee were attached in this list, showing the agencies they are to man. This is a refreshing departure from the norm. Presidents and governors hitherto send names and whimsically attach portfolios after clearance without regard to qualifications or experience.

The 20-person list includes the following:

 1Prof Ngozi Therese Chuma-UdeEducationIhiala
 2Paul NwosuInformationOgbaru
 3Dr. Forster IhejioforAgricultureOrumba South
 4Mrs. Patricia Ifeoma IgwebuikeTransportOyi
 5Engr Felix Chinedu OdimegwuEnvironmentNnewi South
 6Mr. Chikodi AnaraHomeland AffairsAwka North
 7Prof Chika Sylvia IfemejeAttorney-General and JusticeAguata
 8Mr. Collins Anthony NwabunwanneLG, Chieftaincy, Community AffairsAnambra West
 9Mr. Donatus Nduka OnyenjiCulture, Entertainment and TourismIdemili South
 10Barr Anthony Ikechukwu IfeanyaPetroleum and Mineral ResourcesAyamelum
 11Mr. Paulinus Ifechukwu OnyekaHousingEkwusigo
 12Mr. Ifeatu Chinedu OnejemeFinanceAwka South
 13Prof Offornze AmucheaziLandsDunukofia
 14Engr Ifeanyi OkomaWorks and InfrastructureIdemili North
 15Ms Chiamaka Helen NnakeBudget and Economic PlanningNjikoka
 16Dr. Afam Ben ObidikeHealthAnaocha
 17Mr. Patrick Agha MbaYouth DevelopmentOnitsha North
 18Mrs Ifeyinwa Marycelline ObinaboWomen and Social WelfareOrumba North
 19Dr. Obinna NgonadiCommerce and IndustryNnewi North
 20Engr Julius Mmelikam ChukwuemekaPower and Water ResourcesAnambra East

Soludo nominates 20 as Commissioners in Anambra

Southeast succumbs to fear again, stay home

Despite government assurances, the Southeast region once again succumbs to fear and stays home today, Monday 28 March 2022.

The separatist group, the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), originally ordered the forced Monday home sit-ins.

However, IPOB leadership later rescinded the order, and asked people to stay indoors only on days that its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, makes a court appearance.

Unfortunately, rogue elements in the movement and violent criminals continue to intimidate and enforce the order every Monday.

Consequently, reports from Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo indicate partial acceptance, with shootings reported in Enugu and Imo States.

In Enugu, gunmen opened fire on passengers attempting to move about today.

In Imo, criminals similarly stormed a police station in the early hours and allegedly wounded two officers in a shootout.

Anambra markets and businesses remained largely shut while awaiting the new Governor’s plan on how to deal with the threat.

There were however skeletal services at markets in Awka but most buyers largely stayed away.

Only commercial motorbikes plied the streets while most markets and parks remained shut in Ebonyi State.

Imo shooting incident

The Punch newspaper reported a shooting incident at Otoko Police Station in Obowo LGA in the early hours of this morning.

Police reportedly engaged the gunmen in a shootout which led yo injury of two officers from the station.

Eyewitnesses told the newspaper that police repelled the ferocious gunmen attack.

“Police officers engaged the gunmen and the situation became more terrible.

“It was as if the world was coming to an end. It was a consistent exchange of gunshots. We haven’t seen this one before.

“Two policemen were terribly injured and had been rushed to an undisclosed hospital,” witnesses said.

Anambra workers return

The attempt to ginger Anambra workers and make them resume Monday duties today achieved partial success.

A few workers showed up but complained about lack of public transport vehicles and security lapses.

The more fearful among them simply came to sign the attendance register and immediately fled home.

Those who stayed pleaded for security of the workers willing to report for Monday duty as requested by government.

Government apparently did not deploy staff buses to assist workers willing to report for duties today.

A senior civil servant asked that government consider mobilising luxury buses with adequate security to bring in workers.

“Look at this place. The security is inadequate. What happens if these bad boys decide to storm here?” he asked.

Governor Chukwuma Soludo had last week asked workers to resume duties on Mondays.

He also said markets and business places shall open from 4 April 2022.

The Enugu incident

Similarly, another shooting incident also happened in Enugu.

In a statement, Enugu Police Command spokesperson, ASP Daniel Ndukwe, confirmed a shooting incident today, 28 March.

“There was a shooting incident at Odegba, along Iva Valley Road, Enugu in the early hours of this morning, by yet-to-be identified armed men”

The Police, he said, “swiftly responded to a distress call on the incident.”

Police promptly rushed two injured persons to a nearby hospital for emergency care, Ndukwe said.

The victims are responding to treatment at the hospital, the police spokesperson said.

Slug: Southeast succumbs to fear again

You can’t intimidate Abia State PDP

You can’t intimidate Abia State PDP, Information Commissioner, Eze Chikamnayo tells Sen Abaribe.

The recent unnecessary diatribe by His Excellency, Distinguished Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe who is currently representing the good people of Abia South in the Nigerian Senate against the Leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party in Abia State, is very unfortunate and totally unbecoming.

First , the party has spoken and it remains binding on all law abiding members of the PDP in Abia State. Therefore, any personal attack either overtly or covertly on the Party and or the person of the Leader of the Party, His Excellency, Dr Okezie Victor Ikpeazu is a wasteful exercise unexpected of a Senior Official of Senator Abaribe’s standing.

The Peoples Democratic Party, Abia State is a democratic Institution whose decisions at all times must be based on the ideas, opinions and aggregate interests of members and stakeholders at all levels. In the instant case, Abia PDP decided to Zone it’s Governorship ticket to Abia Central and Abia North based on the feedbacks they got from the recently concluded tour of Local Governments in the entire State wherein Leaders, Stakeholders and the entire membership freely proclaimed their preferences and made submissions as it affects the 2023 Governorship ticket.They rightly observed that only Local Governments from Abia North and Abia Central indicated interest to fly the flag of the Party for the upcoming Guber Elections during the fact finding tour.

Specifically, Senator Abaribe’s Obingwa Local Government asked the Party to support their bid to have Senator Abaribe to run for the Presidency of Nigeria.Thus, the Party simply acquiesced to this noble request and will definitely help Obingwa Local Government in this regard.

Instead of Senator Abaribe to embarrass himself by embarking on this fruitless adventure of confronting the masses of PDP in Abia State, it is expected that he would go back to his LGA and initiate consultations in order to help them realise their lofty objectives of supporting him, Senator Abaribe, for a higher office such as the Presidency.

For one person who has been Deputy Governor, and four time Senator it will naturally be a thing of joy for him to answer the clarion call of his people. It would be unthinkable to believe that any right thinking Abia Patriot will find nothing wrong in locating the Guber ticket in the same LGA as the incumbent given the prevailing sensibility of the generality of Abians at this point in our history.

Nobody is against the desire of anybody to run for anything, however, Senator Abaribe’s disruptive ambition cannot be prosecuted at the expense of Equity, Fairness and stability of the PDP and the Abia Polity as a whole.Trying to blackmail, cajole, bully, threaten and or disrespect the Party in any manner would not only amount to a flagrant display of insensitivity but an invitation to unpleasant consequences. The personal obsession of an individual cannot overide the common good of all Abians.

The party cannot be said to have imposed anyone because no individual was named in their Press Release rather aspirants interested from the identified Zones can now deepen consultations in line with laid down ethos and conventions.

Undeniably, zoning is an integral part of our party, the PDP and Senator Abaribe has benefitted from this formula countless times. He was the progenitor of the Otu Onu movement that demanded for Zoning of Governship to his people. Now, that his folks have had their turn, he should respectfully give way for Areas that have not tasted the Governorship to take their turn. Crying foul and making unguarded statements based on self interest is a clearly calculated attempt to destabilise the PDP in Abia State.

Abians from all walks of life, particularly the peace loving PDP Leaders and Stakeholders are urged to call Senator Abaribe and his collaborators to order.There’s nothing personal about the current Zoning of the Gubernatorial Ticket of the Party. What we need now is not a self serving one man show but a collective pursuit that will ensure the victory of our Party at all levels in the upcoming polls.

The Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party in Abia State, Governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu is a very humane and considerate Leader who at all times have remained true to a good conscience in his approach to issues affecting individuals and groups in our polity. The concerns expressed by Abians which formed the basis for the adoption of the current zoning arrangement of the PDP is pertinent.

It is therefore curious that elders like Senator Abaribe who ought to applaud this ingenious political solution would resort to comments that are based on delusions of grandeur.

Barr Eze Chikamnayo is the Commisioner for Information and Strategy in Abia State.

Abaribe rejects exclusion by PDP Abia

Senate Minority Leader Enyinnaya Abaribe swiftly rejects apparent exclusion from the Abia PDP 2023 governorship contest.

The Abia State chairman authorised a statement announcing the decision of the party to zone the governorship position to Abia Central.

Abaribe called the decision an “imposition” which is unconstitutional and said he will fight it.

“It is only Abians that will decide who will be their Governor in 2023,” he said in a statement.

The statement is reproduced below:

:My attention has been drawn to a document signed by the State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Dr Alwell Asiforo purporting the Abia State PDP has zoned the Governorship seat to Abia North and Abia Central.

“I wish to assure all Abians who are desirous of an end to imposition in Abia State to disregard the purported zoning for the following reasons:

  1. While any member of PDP has the right to support anybody for any elective position in Nigeria, it cannot be to the exclusion of any other member.
  2. It is obvious that the statement was merely formulated to exclude me from the contest.
  3. By virtue of section 42(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, no person or body can exclude Senator Entinnaya Abaribr (Nma Agha Ndigbo) from contesting and winning the 2023 elections in Abia State.
  4. All PDP members and Abia citizens are therefore urged to remain calm and participate in the forthcoming congresses and primaries where your voice will be heard as we dismantle the cabal that want to keep Abians subjected to further years of imposition.
  5. It is only Abians that will decide who will be their Governor in 2023.”

Abaribe rejects exclusion by PDP Abia

Abia PDP disqualifies Abaribe from governorship race

Abia State PDP carefully targets and disqualifies Sen Enyinnaya Abaribe from the 2023 governorship contest.

The party executed this coup yesterday 26 March, simply by banning aspirants from Abaribe’s Abia South District from contesting.

Abia PDP said in a statement that the position is open only to aspirants from Abia Central and Abia North only.

Abaribe is from Abia South District.

The party announced its decision last night to newsmen in a statement endorsed by party chair, Dr Allwell Asifo Okere.

It is unusual in a zoning arrangement to consider two districts under the party’s so-called zoning arrangement.

However, a party insider told Enugu Metro that Abia Central will field the candidate with a deputy from Abia North.

Dr Okere said in the statement that the decision is ratified by both PDP’s State Working and State Executive Committees. The two bodies are the highest decision making organs of the party.

Observers noted that the intrigues that led to the decision became clear “when Ndi Ngwa collectively told Abaribe that they would not support him.”

Gov Okezie Ikpeazu is the unseen hand behind the orchestrated and targeted disqualification, many believe.

Abaribe, who is Senate Minority leader, formally decalred his intention to run in December 2021.

What options for Abaribe?

Senator Abaribe remains shut out of consideration by the PDP as a result of this decision.

Abia professionals yesterday rued the decision which would have positioned the state to benefit from the experience of the respected senator.

“He cannot get the PDP ticket unless by force majeure,” one of them said this morning.

“This is simply a coup d’etat,” another professional said.

“PDP is the dominant party in Abia State. It may also be late for him to try APGA as a vehicle, even if IPOB declares open support for him.”

Enugu Metro however learnt that the APGA route remains open to him. Whether he will take it will become apparent in the coming days.

Citizens also wondered why PDP Abia allowed Abaribe to purchase nomination forms which cost N21million before announcing the decision.

Abia PDP targets and disqualifies Senator Abaribe from 2023 governorship